Wham! – Club Tropicana
Soft white sands, a blue lagoon
Cocktail time, a summer's tune
A whole night's holiday!
Club Tropicana, drinks are free
Fun and sunshine, there's enough for everyone
No matter your generation, you can be an 80s dinosaur, a millennial or even younger: you’ll remember your first vacations with friends away from your parents for the rest of your life.
In the early 80s it was not so obvious that once you turned 18 you went on holiday with friends; the economic but also touristic possibilities were infinitely more limited, and there were countries ahead of others. In England, for example, a travel agency specialised in taking young people on holiday was born, with almost exotic locations that offered so much fun at very affordable prices. Of course, the idea of fun was based on youthful aspirations, if it is true that the advertisement said “It’s not all sex, sex, sex. There’s a bit of sun and sea as well”. All in all, this offer created a real social phenomenon.
And so the early 80s were the years of the great success of Club 18-30, specialized precisely in bringing young people between 18 and 30 years on holiday at very low prices. The average age was 19, and for many of these young people it was the first holiday away from their parents. The destinations were few but well tested: Costa Brava, Greece, places where you spent little and slept even less.
And in July 1983 the epic holiday with friends even entered the world of pop, because this idea was celebrated, certainly with a lot of humour, by a very successful song.
Up to their previous hit, “Wham! Rap”, Wham! almost always touched social or political topics, such as the difficult entry of young people into the world of work, or unemployment. But now, thanks perhaps to the time of year and the desire of English guys to have fun, Wham! started that 180-degree turn that will lead them to be one of the coolest and most glamorous groups on the planet.
“Club Tropicana” celebrates this kind of experience: a world of kisses, cocktails, entertainment: hurry up, don’t miss the plane! The subject was not too high, but the Wham! style made this hit an immense success. Part of the credit also goes to the video, where the two boys have fun on holiday with two girls (Shirlie and the girl who preceded Pepsi as backing singer). At the end we find out that the boys are two pilots, and the girls are flight attendants. Kind of like… our job is to take you there, but we’re having fun too!
An intimate note: during the filming of this video George Michael realized his sexual orientation, and confided it to Shirlie. He didn’t have the courage to tell Andrew, fearing his reaction for the future of the group. Shirlie reassured George and encouraged him to talk to Andrew if he intended to continue singing with him.
And so George Michael decided to talk to Andrew Ridgeley, even to understand what would become of the Wham!. Faced with this revelation, the great Andrew reacted with a “Ah, ok”. The story of Wham! was safe, and the two boys were able to continue their conquest of the pop universe!
Wham! on Wikipedia